Here’s the latest from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding COVID-19 vaccines:
- Employers must first seek an accommodation for employees who refuse vaccination for disability or religious reasons before taking any action against them.
- Employers can’t jump to terminating an employee who refuses the vaccine based on a religious belief or disability issue. They most conduct a detailed assessment to determine if the person poses a direct threat.
- Four factors to help determine if there is a direct threat are: severity of potential harm, likelihood the potential harm will occur, and the potential harm’s imminence.
- Employers can’t exclude a worker from the workplace “unless there is no way to provide a reasonable accommodation (absent undue hardship) that would eliminate or reduce this risk, so the unvaccinated employee does not pose a direct threat.”
- Before terminating a worker, employers must determine if any other rights apply under EEO laws or other federal, state, or local authorities.